In 1991, Kirk Hammett of METALLICA came to ESP with a request for a new custom guitar using a single cutaway design, but with the features of his KH-2 signature model. METALLICA's graphic artist Pushead designed a spider graphic specifically for this new instrument, which was dubbed the KH-3. Kirk played this guitar throughout the '90s on tours supporting METALLICA's legendary Black Album. After spending a number of years on display at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Kirk's original KH-3 was returned to ESP as a reference point to create the new Kirk Hammett KH-3 Spider 30th Anniversary Edition.
"I really like the feel of the single cutaway shape, and thought it would be great to add a locking trem and my usual EMG pickups," says Hammett. "Not to mention also having the perfect area to plaster the killer Pushead graphic that was drawn specifically for this guitar back in the day!"
The 30th Anniversary KH-3 Spider is a reissue of the original KH-3 model with some upgrades. Like the original, this reissue features neck-thru-body construction at 24.75" scale, with an alder body and three-piece maple neck. This extra thin U-shaped neck has a Macassar ebony fingerboard with 24 extra-jumbo frets, and features both spider-shaped inlays and Kirk's skull-and-bones inlays. It also features the special scrawled logo along with Kirk's signature on the headstock, and includes a Floyd Rose 1000 bridge. The new KH-3 30th Anniversary Edition adds a set of Kirk's signature EMG Bonebreaker pickups, and a scalloped fingerboard from frets 17 to 24.
Like Kirk's original custom guitar, the KH-3 30th Anniversary Edition is available in Black finish, and has the very identifiable green and yellow spider-and-skull graphic that was originally created by artist Pushead. Both LTD and handcrafted ESP versions of the 30th Anniversary KH-3 will be made available in 2021, with the LTD version expected to be available in February 2021 at ESP dealers worldwide.
The KH-3 announcement comes as ESP Guitars launches a multi-day streaming video event to debut their new guitars and basses. On January 11, 12, and 13, the "ESP Presents 2021" event will be viewable on the ESP web site at www.espguitars.com. Additionally, on January 14, the company is hosting a similar event for the Takamine brand called "Takamine Showcase 2021", viewable on the U.S. Takamine site at www.esptakamine.com. ESP distributes Takamine in the United States.
Matt Masciandaro, president and CEO of the ESP guitar company, says: "'ESP Presents' and 'Takamine Showcase 2021' are not merely substitutes for a consumer/trade show that some may miss, but a platform that will provide the viewer even greater insight into the products and the artists that play them. Musicians who watch these streaming videos will get a complete picture of our companies and the instruments we make. This is the most extensive virtual product launch we've planned to date, and we look forward to bringing it to everyone who wants to know more about what ESP and Takamine have planned for 2021."
Both events include dozens of demos of new and current guitars and basses in their respective product lines, as well as interviews with influential ESP and Takamine artist endorsees.
The "Takamine Showcase 2021" video streaming event on Thursday, January 14 is a broad overview of Takamine's entire product offering, with guitar demos, complete clinics, and artist interviews. This multi-hour event will cover representative models from nearly all of the renowned acoustic-electric guitar maker's instruments from its affordable G Series through its high-end, handcrafted Pro Series.
All four days of events are open to the public and free to view. They are scheduled to air via streaming video at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time to allow convenient viewing times for a global audience. Musicians will be able to watch the events on the front page of www.espguitars.com and www.esptakamine.com.
Detailed information and specifications on the 30th Anniversary Edition KH-3, along with all of ESP's "New For 2021" guitar and bass collection, is available at the ESP web site at www.espguitars.com.